Maui Sports

2017 WSL Big Wave Award Nominees Announced!

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Kai Lenny at Pe’ahi, nominated for the Biggest Wave Award. Photo: WSL/Pompermayer

As winter has come to a close, the surf world’s focus is now on California.

Six surfers from Hawaiʻi have been nominated for the 2017 WSL Big Wave Awards, which will commence in Huntington Beach, CA on April 29th. With $350,000 up for grabs across seven categories, and a TAG Heuer watch for each winner, the stakes are as large as the rides. The Big Wave Awards celebrates this year’s greatest performances, with submissions from all across the globe.

“This year’s WSL Big Wave Awards has seen a clear push from a group of younger surfers now making their mark in the big wave arena,” said Bill Sharp, the event’s director. “Diversity is probably the theme this year, with epic paddle sessions in places like California and Mexico, then tow days in Maui or Portugal to mix it up, with the young crew willing to try whatever discipline works best for the conditions at hand. Paddling is still regarded as the gold standard, but when it’s giant and windy—like it was at Jaws and Nazaré at times this winter—the limits were pushed like never before.”

Francisco Porcella at Nazare, Portugal. Nominated for the Biggest Wave Award. Photo: WSL/Aleixo


The nominees from Hawai’i include; Billy Kemper (Maui), Francisco Porcella (Maui), Trevor Sven Carlson (Haleiwa), Kai Lenny (Maui), Keala Kennely (Kaua’i), and the Women’s Big Wave World Champion, Paige Alms (Maui).

The competition window concluded on March 21, 2017 and spanned the previous year of big wave surfing. Every wave ridden at every big wave break around the world during this time was eligible for consideration across the seven categories. A panel of judges chose the five best rides in each of the categories based on photo and video submissions.

Trevor Carlson at Nazare. Nominated for the Biggest Wave Award. Photo: WSL/Estrelinha

Winners will be crowned at an invitation-only awards show at the Pasea Hotel in Huntington Beach, CA. Viewers around the world can watch the live webcast at and live on the WSL’s Facebook page. The show will also be televised later on CBS Sports Network in the US.


Photographs and video of all the nominated rides can be viewed at

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